Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another article just in time for Halloween

I ran across this article in the NY Times, Still Spooked by High-fructose Corn Syrup. As a person who loves chocolate chip cookies and Dr. Pepper and basically a weakness for sweet stuff, I wasn't spooked until reading this article. A little food for thought before consuming all that halloween candy!

5 comments:

Period7Lisa said...

I was just wondering, what exactly IS high fructose corn syrup. I mean like, in simple terms. I feel like people should just generally know that drinking two sodas a day could not possibly be good for them in any way.

Is it worse to eat all your halloween candy (or a large amount of it) at one time than to eat it spread out? If we just omit the fact that you would get a killer stomach ache, wouldn't you get all the high fructose corn syrup and sugar eventually so would there be any difference? Just a random question :)

bernie said...

From Wikipedia:High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is any of a group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to increase its fructose content, and is then mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose), becoming a high-fructose corn syrup; the types are: HFCS 90 (mostly for making HFCS 55), approximately 90% fructose and 10% glucose; HFCS 55 (mostly used in soft drinks), approximately 55% fructose and 45% glucose; and HFCS 42 (used in most foods and baked goods), approximately 42% fructose and 58% glucose.[1]

The process by which HFCS is produced was first developed by Richard Off. Marshalle and Earl P. Kooi in 1927.[2] The industrial production process was refined by Dr. Y. Takasaki at Agency of Industrial Science and Technology of Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Japan in 1965-1970. HFCS was rapidly introduced to many processed foods and soft drinks in the U.S. from about 1975 to 1985.

Per relative sweetness, HFCS 55 is comparable to table sugar (sucrose), a disaccharide of fructose and glucose.[3] That makes it useful to food manufacturers as a substitute for sucrose in soft drinks and processed foods. HFCS 90 is sweeter than sucrose, HFCS 42 is less sweet than sucrose.

Period3_danielokelly said...

It's common knowledge that a high intake of sodas isn't healthy for your nutrition by any means. I think that people acknowledge this but cannot scientifically support thier theory. The processed chemicals, HFCS, that add to the unhealthiness of a drink, or an item from a fast food restaurant, are used because they are cheap, and are relatively sweet sugar sources, with certain benefits for food manufacturers. I agree with Lisa when she asks whether or not candy is less or more harmful depending on how you eat it. Would the consumption of more HFCS or sugar lead to different diseases such as kidney disease?

MsWeisfield said...

I used to think that the main problem with foods containing high fructose corn syrup is that they tend not to contain much nutritional value - in other words, you are likely to find HFCS in candy, soda, junk food in general. These are "empty" calories - may as well drink some OJ and get some vitamins along with your calories, or better yet, drink some water and eat an orange! But these recent studies are showing links to kidney disease, heart disease, etc. Daniel, to address your question, it's important to think about the difference between a correlation and a CAUSAL link. i.e. do people who consume diets high in HFCS tend also to have other health problems (simple correlation) vs. does HFCS directly cause other healthy problems (causal link)?

Period 7 Valentina said...

To me it seems that high fructose corn syrup acts much like almost everything people eat. In small quantities it doesn't do much harm and in larger quantities it does do harm. Just because many fats are bad in large quantaties doesn't mean you can't eat potato chips once in awile. The enviormental effects seem to me more like something that can be fixed by changes in the prosses of growing corn and is not solely related to corn syrup production, we eat corn and there is fuel made out of corn just not eating high fructose corn syrup wont completely solve the problem.